View Full Version : chuck for oval turning

Alistair Hosie
08-14-2003, 04:24 PM
Has anyone seen a chuck or know of anyone selling an oval turning wood chuck
( preferably a kit or plans to make one).
These used to be used for making oval picture frames etcI have seen a few in books, but one day I would like to make onemyself anyone know of these let me know as they are very interesting. Alistair

08-14-2003, 04:57 PM
There was an article on this in a past issue, can't remember if it was Machinist Workshop or Home Shop Machinist.

08-14-2003, 05:17 PM
This might be interesting:


This is also interesting:


[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 08-14-2003).]

08-14-2003, 05:27 PM
Here's a site with an explanation and drawings of how it works:

Here's some photos of a commercial machine:


Alistair Hosie
08-14-2003, 05:46 PM
Thanks guys these are fabulous I have always been interested in this and have one of Holtzapfells books (quite complicated reading) .One day when I am all set up I intend to have a bash at making a rose engine Alistair

Paul Alciatore
08-14-2003, 06:32 PM
I've done some wood work but no turning on a wood lathe. The rosette machine is very fascinating.

But wouldn't it be easier to make a router jig to do this kind of thing? A simple oval pattern with a bushing on the router would do simple ovals or any other shape. An X-Y slideing plate could be used to guide a router over many sizes of elipses. I believe I've seen plans in various magazines. Two pins and a belt can also generate elipses - even very large elipses. In all of these the work stays still and the router can move at a relatively slow speed thus avoiding large unbalanced weights.

Another thought would be to use large gears in the fashion of the SpiroGraph toys to guide the router over the work. This should allow the generation of many fancy patterns similar to the rosette machine. These gears would not have to be high precision as the speeds would be relatively slow. Plastic or even wood would work. Mounting the router off center on one of the gears would produce wavy lines, loops, etc. The central gear could be an elipse, oval, or any other shape. Many, many patterns could be possible.

Paul A.

Alistair Hosie
08-14-2003, 08:36 PM
Paul I have done quite a bit of woodturning, try and read a little about the rose engine and anything about ornamental turning you will be impressed by it believe me.I have also thought about the spirograph idea I wonder if such a thing could be incorporated into a chucking device so that the chuck could turn possibly motorised slowly with a gearing head (i.E spirograph head)with an advancing rotary tool fixed at various angles to the toolpost to do this or other work.The idea is a good one but it would take a bit of work to perfect it but would in my opinion be worth it Alistair

08-14-2003, 10:36 PM

Since I found that link to the wood rose engine I am even considering trying one. It is striking the patterns that can be made. Sigh, too many projects, not enough lives.

08-14-2003, 10:50 PM

Check Fine Woodworking's index - they have had some articles on the ornamental lathes. I have most of their magazines, but don't want to dig through them unless I have too.